Alex Chitty + Unison

inUnison / Jan 13, 2015 / by Kim Morski / Go to Original

I met Chicago-based artist Alex Chitty this past summer during a visit to her studio with the Chicago Printmaker’s Guild. She spoke to us about her recent photographic explorations and constant effort to add new technical processes (ceramics, woodworking, electroplating metals…. you name it) to her studio practice. Alex’s interest in modes of display and domestic, utilitarian forms immediately got me thinking about a collaboration with Unison, and now one is in the works!

Alex has selected domestic goods from Unison’s spring collection to alter, deconstruct, and reinstall in photographic and sculptural compositions that reference, but are removed from, their original utility. Last weekend, Alex came to the Unison store in Wicker Park, equipped with her flatbed scanner and camera, to document textures, patterns, and objects for use in her project.

At Unison, we always want to learn more about the process and thinking behind an artist’s work. Alex has kindly taken the time to tell us a bit about her use of scanning and digital manipulation:

“In place of a camera, I frequently use my laptop and a cordless flatbed scanner. As the scanner translates 3D analog into digital, it invents information and reveals images that hint at an original source without revealing it. This becomes important conceptually as well as aesthetically: a document of the history of its own making links itself to painting, cinematography, dance and performance. Another misused tool is Adobe Photoshop — software designed to covertly enhance or shift the reality of an image. When used to make obvious additions and changes by adding text and symbols or blurring specific areas, the tool becomes conceptual not functional. The resulting image disappoints the anticipated expectation of reality and begins to reveal how we see and think when looking at photographic imagery.”

“I use Photoshop intermittently, so you are never quite sure what exactly you are looking at, and in this way, you are encouraged to think about the actual act of seeing. Essentially, it’s meant to slow you down and make you a tiny bit self-conscious of your existence in the world, like when you see your reflection in a shop window as you walk by, and you remember ‘Oh, yeah…I’m a human body, walking down the street’.”

The Unison team is bursting with excitement to see how Alex will transform Unison products, using them as materials in her new project. We hope you will join us for the opening reception to see the work and meet Alex!